Showcase Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Findings from a pilot of a Creativity Skills mini-MOOC  (#27)

Yoni Ryan 1 , Kym Fraser 2
  1. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  2. Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)

In 2013 we published a paper in Australian Universities Review arguing that after 20 years of considerable effort and expenditure, there was stillconcern among employers that graduates were not developing 21st century employability skills and that academics themselves were conscious of their inability to teach some of these skills, particularly in relation to their expertise and confidence to teach AQF level 9 skills such as critical reflection, advanced digital communication and creative thinking (Barrie et al., 2009).

We argued that it was time to take a new approach. We hypothesised that generic skills MOOCs, developed by experts for use by students from all disciplines and offered at a national level, couldprovide students with access to useful content that could then be applied within their discipline program or the content could be customised and embedded in programs by program directors.

In this showcase we discuss the findings of an OLT project which piloted a Creativity Skills MOOC for Master’s coursework students. Forty nine students from three universities enrolled in the MOOC as an optional extra to their programs and 29% completed the MOOC. This completion rate compares favourably with Harvard University (13%), Udacity (<10%) and Melbourne University (4.6%).

Thirteen program directors from two universities reviewed the MOOC. The evaluation data collected for the MOOC comprised interview data with program directors, student survey data, in-depth MOOC evaluation by two Master’s coursework students and assessment task responses.

The two student evaluators who gave detailed feedback were highly positive about the usefulness of the MOOC to creative skill development, as were the vast majority of the students who completed the MOOC.  Seventy-seven percent of program directors who reviewed the MOOC indicated that they would either require their students to do the MOOC or customise and embed materials from the MOOC in their programs.

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

 This showcase discusses the findings of the pilot and addresses the conference theme and all of the sub-themes: The MOOC:

·       reinforces the importance of creativity as an essential 21st Century employability and life skill (sub- theme 1); see

·       relates creativity to the needs of every profession in a rapidly changing context (sub- themes 1 and 4);

·       exploits the power and accessibility of MOOCs (sub- theme 2);

·       provides evidence of the potential of peer and self assessment for Master’s level students (sub- theme 3);

·       demonstrated that committed students will grapple with new and intriguing templates such as Ingenium to reflect on and evaluate their own experiences in a process of lifelong learning (Conference theme).   

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